About 45 %2 of the N75bn MSMEs survival fund has been made available for women owned businesses.
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This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, in Abuja.
Katagum disclosed that over 45 percent provision have been made for women owned businesses in the N75 billion Micro, Small and Medium (MSMEs) survival fund made available for businesses in Nigeria by the Federal government to cushion the impact of COVID-19 in the country.
Speaking at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) and the Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum (NEF), Amb. Katagum said the intervention fund was targeted at giving support to businesses that have suffered due to the pandemic.
“The N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off take Scheme are part of Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) designed and developed by the Federal Government to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the economy, specifically targeted at providing succour to the MSMEs sector which has experienced the most adverse effect of economic disruptions caused by the Pandemic.
“The implementation of the scheme which has received commendation by stakeholders across the country has provision for 45 per cent female-owned businesses,” she stated.
The Minister Applauded the organizers for the “efforts towards actualizing this event which provides an avenue for the development of MSMEs especially among women.
“The critical role MSMEs play in the development of the national and global economy in terms of employment generation and contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) cannot be overemphasized.
“It is in recognition of this that the Federal Government of Nigeria gives special attention to the growth and development of the MSME sector, with special emphasis on women-owned enterprises.
Represented by the Deputy Director in the department of Industrial Development, Mr John Opaluwa, the Minister stated that “the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has recently approved the revised National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which provides the framework to resolve the challenges faced by the sub-sector.”
While delivering her welcome address, the President of OWIT, Blessing Irabor, said “OWIT Nigeria is driven by the believe that trade and investment can help Nigeria develop sustainably and inclusively.
“We also know that women and girls have less opportunity, less access to leadership positions, finance, education, information etc.
“However, in the Nigerian world of trade and business, where the gender blind deliverables in trade has strongly contributed to widening the gap of inequalities between men and women at all levels of economic empowerment”, noting that “strengthening coordination on women participation in trade and investment is now Paramount.”
In his remarks, the President of NEF, Sidney Inegbedion, said NEF “is a private sector driven organization whose services have focused on stimulating economic pdevelopment in Nigeria.
“This is why Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum is partnering with the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT). OWIT Nigeria is an active women organization that focuses on trade and business at the local and international levels as a strategy for women empowerment and social recognition,” he stated.